Know the law: Who inherits your UAE wealth after you pass away?

We have discussed the benefits of making a will in the UAE. Now, let’s take a look at who all can be your possible inheritors.

If you have made a will (and properly registered it), your movable assets shall be distributed according to your wishes. However, the immovable assets will still be decided by the law of the land.

(Read:  Property inheritance in UAE: Will a will help?)

Whether you have a will in place or not, it is wise to know who will get what you own today after your passing away, clearing the misconceptions of many residents in the country about possible beneficiaries.

Diana Hamade, Attorney at Law & Legal Consultant, UAE Courts & DIFC Courts, International Advocate Legal Services, stresses that “as per Shariah, the shares in inheritance are pre-determined”, leaving little room for any debate on whether a party should benefit or not.

Let’s see who are the beneficiaries here through the below examples, which are provided by Hamade.

In this article, we discuss the possible case scenarios if the deceased is a man and keep the base figure of inheritance as Dh100,000 for better understanding and (R) which will denote – remainder, applied to the closest male heir(s) or distributed between heir(s) in proportion to their shares.

Scenario 1: If the deceased is survived by a mother, father, wife and three children (one son and two daughters)

•         The wife shall receive 1/8th (Dh12,500)

•         The mother and father shall get 1/6th each (Dh16,666.67 each)

After these three parties have received their respective share, the remaining wealth will be distributed among the son and daughters, with son getting the share of two daughters (i.e. a male child gets double of a female child).

•         The son shall receive Dh27,083.33

•         The two daughters shall receive Dh13,541.67 each

Scenario 2:
If the deceased man does not have child/children

•         The wife shall receive 1/4th (Dh25,000)

•         The mother shall get 1/3rd (Dh33,333.33)

•         The father shall get the remainder (Dh41,666.67)

Scenario 3: If the deceased man is survived by only mother and father

•         The mother shall get 1/3rd (Dh33,333.33)

•         The father shall get the remainder (Dh66,666.67)

Scenario 4: If the deceased man is survived by only mother and wife

•         The mother shall receive 1/3rd + R (Dh57,142.86)

•         The wife shall receive 1/4th + R (Dh42,857.14)

Scenario 5:
If the deceased man is survived by daughter/s, wife, mother and father

•         The mother shall receive 1/6th (Dh16,666.67)

•         The wife shall receive 1/8th (Dh12,500)

•         The daughter/s shall receive half of the wealth (Dh50,000, equally split between the daughters)

•         The father’s share will be 1/6th and the remaining amount of the wealth (Dh20,833.33)

Scenario 6:
If the deceased man is survived by a son, wife, mother and father
•         The father shall receive 1/6th (Dh16,666.67)

•         The mother shall receive 1/6th (Dh16,666.67)

•         The wife shall receive 1/8th (Dh12,500)

•         The son gets the remaining amount (Dh54,166.67)

Scenario 7: If the deceased man’s parents are no more and he is survived by only wife and children. If the deceased man does not have either parents, then the wife and the children will inherit everything, assuming there is a male child.

The paternal uncle will not be a beneficiary if the deceased is survived by a father and/or son. The paternal aunts shall not be part of the inheritance disbursal.

However, if the man is not survived by a son or father, the uncle comes into the picture and he has a stake in the distribution of assets.

For example, if there are no children and the father is no more, then the uncle gets the share after it being distributed between the wife and the mother. Again, let’s take the base figure of Dh100,000.

The calculated heir shares amount will be:

-       The mother’s share amount 1/6th (Dh16,666.67)

-       The wife’s share amount 1/4th (Dh25,000)

-       The paternal brother(s) will get the remainder, which is (Dh58,333.33) in this case. The sisters of the deceased shall not be part of the inheritance distribution.

If there is a daughter, then the amount will change. It will be calculated as follows

-       The mother’s share amount 1/6th  (Dh16,666.67)

-       The wife's share amount 1/8th (Dh12,500)

-       The daughter(s) share amount 1/2 (Dh50,000, equally distributed among the daughters)

-       The paternal brother(s) share amount will be the remainder (Dh20,833.33)

The aunts (deceased’s sisters), however, come into the inheritance pyramid when the mother or father or both, who have survived the deceased and inherited 1/6th of the share, die/s after the deceased.

In such a case, the share will not go back to the wife and the children (even if there is a son) of the deceased, but will be distributed between the children of the mother/father (i.e. the uncles and aunts). So, even though they are not direct beneficiaries, they will be on board with the sons and daughters of the deceased.

Many expat residents are not clear about how a UAE court can get to know the extended family that may be in another country.

Hamade clears the confusion here. “For the distribution of assets, two witnesses, who know the family, are summoned by the court to tell about the possible inheritors of the man and they are under oath,” she tells Emirates 24|7.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

 

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